The Ireland squad trained on Thursday at the Santa Fe rugby club ahead of the first Test match of their summer tour of Argentina.
The 30-strong playing squad had transferred from Buenos Aires by bus on Wednesday morning for the start of the six-hour drive north to the regional capital of the Santa Fe province.
The gruelling journey was broken up by way of a midway stopover in the picturesque city of Rosario and lunch in the Jockey Club de Rosario. The visit was arranged through Munster and Italian-capped prop Federico Pucciarello, who is a lifelong member of the club having grown up in the area.
‘Freddie’ (pictured left) was there to welcome the touring party and they were treated to some exceptional hospitality by the club in the beautiful surroundings.
The club caters for a number of sports such as tennis, polo, golf anf rugby. Each ‘club’ has a distinct clubhouse within the 240 hectare spread at Rosario.
The stop allowed the squad to stretch their legs and relax before they continued the next 250 kilometres up the highway to the city of Santa Fe.
The squad’s arrival in Santa Fe was greeted with great interest and enthusiasm by the local Santa Fe Union and the gathered media.
The game on Saturday at the 28,000-capacity Colon Athletic stadium is the first international rugby match to be played in the city, a traditional soccer stronghold.
The Ireland squad train today at the CRAI rugby club, having trained on Thursday at the Santa Fe rugby club as they continue their preparations for this weekend’s Test match.
You can see the game live on RTE on Saturday night. Coverage starts at 7.55pm on RTE Two. The teams will battle it out again the following Saturday – June 2 – with live coverage from Buenos Aires. Both matches are due to kick off at 8.10pm Irish time.
The TV coverage will be presented by Tom McGurk with regular pundits George Hook and Brent Pope providing match analysis and Ryle Nugent on commentary duty.
RTE Radio will also broadcast live coverage of both Tests. This Saturday’s radio broadcast, which will be on RTE Radio 1 LW and MW, will begin at 8pm with Michael Corcoran and former Irish international Donal Lenihan providing commentary.
IrishRugby.ie will also be running a live match tracker on this site for both games.